SABC boss suspended


Controversial South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, has been placed on suspension for 60 days pending an ongoing investigation brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

In February last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Motsoeneng had lied about his academic qualifications when applying for the position, before upping his salary from R1.5 million to R2.4 million over one year, and getting rid of certain board members without authorisation. He continued in the position despite Madonsela ruling that he vacate it within 90 days.

Motsoeneng’s suspension is the latest in a series of scandals to rock the public broadcaster after it was discovered in January that Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi, had send out letters to certain board members, requiring them to motivate why they should not be fired.

Two months later, senior members, Ronnie Lubisi, Rachel Kalidass and Hope Zinde were dismissed while earlier this month, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Gavin Davis, who has been at loggerheads with the Minister since Motsoeneng’s appointment, revealed that a fourth member, Thembinkosi Bonakele resigned in July last year but that Muthambi only informed the Presidency of this in March.

“Mr Motsoeneng’s suspension following today’s judgment is a much-needed opportunity to root out the rot at the SABC once and for all,” DA Federal Chairperson, James Selfe, said in a statement.

He also stated that the party would seek a further application to have Motsoeneng’s appointment declared invalid “on the grounds that it was manifestly irrational and unlawful from the very outset.”

Lawyer Zola Majavu has however said that they plan on appealing a section of Western Cape High Court Judge Ashton Schippers’ verdict not to allow Motsoeneng back to work.